The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has implemented it’s simplification of the Student Visa Assessment Level Framework (ALF) in accordance with the findings of an internal review conducted late last year.

The changes have resulted in Assessment Level 4 and 5 being removed from the framework, meaning former AL4/5 countries will be reclassified to Assessment Level 3.

The reduction will decrease the amount of evidentiary requirements applicants from countries classified as ‘high risk’ will have to provide, such as financial capacity and English language ability.

The changes also include the financial requirements for AL3 student visa applicants being reduced from 18 months to 12 months. However as a result of this students will now be required to either provide the funds themselves or source them from a close relative.

Senior migration agent Nam Hoang says the changes should be of most benefit to international students who until now have been subjected to more stringent AL4 requirements, compared to AL1 and AL2 applicants, who won’t notice any difference.

‘With the recent changes, international students from countries such as China, India, Pakistan and other former AL4 countries will have the most to gain,’ he said.

‘Their requirement to demonstrate financial capacity has effectively been halved, from 24 months to 12 months, substantially reducing the amount of money the students or their relatives will have to show in order to be granted a student visa.

‘However the changes should have no effect on applicants from AL1 and AL2 countries, who aren’t subjected to as many evidentiary requirements.’

The simplification comes as part of the Government’s bid to boost Australia’s reputation as a prime student destination, as competitiveness in the international education sector continues to rise across the globe.

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